Russell Simmons & Bill Adler Talk About Signing Public Enemy, The Logo & The Ramifications (Video)

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Following LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys, Def Jam Records next breakthrough artist signing was Public Enemy. The Long Island, New York Hip-Hop collective including Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, Professor Griff, The Bomb Squad, Johnny Juice and more would shake the earth with boisterous messages, social information, slamming beats, and a by-any-means attitude. They were with the label from the late 1980s through the He Got Game soundtrack in 1998.

Russell Simmons, Def Jam’s co-founder, along with author/historian/curator Bill Adler (who was Def Jam’s publicist in the ’80s and early ’90s) spoke to BET for part of the “The Message” (as “Rebels Without A Pause) about P.E. The guys recall hearing Chuck D and Public Enemy for the first time, their impact on a Hip-Hop still used to partying on records versus transmitting information and promoting change, and one of music’s most famous logos.

With several classic albums, one could argue that Public Enemy is among the most responsible to Def Jam’s elite musical legacy, and immortal impact on Hip-Hop and revolution.

Related: Ice Cube, Nas, Snoop & More Speak on the History of N.W.A. (Video)